I am reading through nearly thirty-year-old notes written in Professor Butt's classes. Some are written in Ebony pencil on brown paper towels from the classroom dispenser. Others are written in ink on scraps of quality drawing papers. All are loaded with memories.
"Stop your work when you don't have to do anything else: don't do all that you want to do to it. Pull off prior to compulsive/therapeutic!"
Often parents of my little preschoolers ask me if little Buffy or Skippy will ever paint anything besides edge-to-edge swoops of mud. I try to explain that their child had a pretty fierce T-Rex in that painting at one point, but the enjoyment of the tactile experience of painting eventually submerged the T-Rex. The tactile experience is developmentally important. Then I explain that my professors told me that getting a student to stop work on a painting was the most difficult lesson of all. Sometimes I can smell Mr. Butt's cigar when I give this little speech.